Hello women’s college hockey fans. The season kicks off in earnest this weekend. Once again, each week Nicole and I will pick the winners of the games, and we’ll have a friendly competition to see who is the better prognosticator, which yours truly took last season. Many of the top teams are in action this weekend, so here we go.
Friday, Sept. 29
Mercyhurst at No. 2 Wisconsin
Candace: We’ll learn more about Mercyhurst from this second game after Wisconsin shut out the Lakers last night. I see the Badgers prevailing. Wisconsin 3-0
Nicole: The Badgers should sweep here. Wisconsin 4-1
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30
Syracuse at Bemidji State
Candace: Probably the hardest series to pick all weekend. I think a travel day might hurt Syracuse in the first game. Bemidji State 2-1, Syracuse 2-1
Nicole: I’ll call a split. Bemidji takes the first game, Syracuse wins game two. Bemidji State 2-1, Syracuse 3-0
Minnesota State at Lindenwood
Candace: Lindenwood already has two games under its belt, but got swept against a different WCHA team. I’ll call another sweep. Minnesota State 3-2, 2-1
Nicole: These two split. Mankato wins game one, Lindenwood wins game two. Minnesota State 2-1, Lindenwood 1-0
No. 9 Quinnipiac at Maine
Candace: Maine will be improved, and Quinnipiac will likely give up more goals than last year, but I think the Bobcats sweep. Quinnipiac 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: The Bobcats have too much firepower. They sweep. Quinnipiac 3-0, 4-1.
No. 1 Clarkson at No. 8 Northeastern
Candace: The power series of the weekend. The Huskies have a lot of returning strength, but I think Clarkson prevails in two tough games. Clarkson 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: We’ll learn a lot about these two this weekend. I’ll hedge it and call a split. Clarkson wins game one, Northeastern wins game two. Clarkson 4-3, Northeastern 3-2
Rensselear at Ohio State
Candace: I just don’t think RPI will have found its scoring yet. Ohio State 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: I think the Buckeyes start the season out strong and sweep. Ohio State 2-0, 3-0.
Connecticut at St. Cloud State
Candace: The visiting Huskies will get a sweep. Connecticut 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: I expect Connecticut to handle this series and sweep. Connecticut 3-1, 4-2.
Penn State at No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: The Nittany Lions won’t be at the level of the Bulldogs just yet. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, 3-1
Nicole: Penn State has improved, but I don’t think it’s enough to challenge UMD, who’ll have to prove themselves early again this season. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 3-1
Friday, Sept. 29, Sunday, Oct. 1
Merrimack at No. 3 Minnesota
Candace: The Warriors surprised Boston University last weekend, but I don’t think they have enough to handle high-flying Minnesota. Minnesota 4-1, 4-0
Nicole: Gophers sweep. Minnesota 5-2, 3-1.
Sunday, Oct. 1
Vermont at Providence
Candace: These two will probably battle all year long. Tough to call this early season game. I’ll go with home ice. Providence 3-2
Nicole: A competitive game. I’ll go with the visitors. Vermont 3-2